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Osteoporosis and exercise

Matt Roberts personal trainer  
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Osteoporosis is considered by many to be an inevitable sign of old age. It occurs when bone ages, becomes worn and the body is unable to replace it with new bone. As a result bones become thin and fragile. Unfortunately this can often go undetected until a bone is broken

At least one in three adult women and one in twelve adult men over the age of fifty will suffer a broken bone, particularly in the spine, hip or wrist as a result of osteoporosis. Up to half of all patients who suffer a broken hip lose the ability to live independently and up to one fifth may die during the following year as a result of their injury.

TRANSCRIPT:

 

 

Tessa Davies wants to know: "I am 55 and was on HRT for 7 years and came off it two years ago. My mother had osteoporosis and both my sisters have been diagnosed with it. What is the likelihood of my also having it and how often and when should I be tested? I came off HRT because one of my sisters died of breast cancer." 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: There is no doubt Osteoporosis is in part hereditary although taking HRT for seven years will give you quite a lot of protection. I would advise having a DEXA Scan every 3- 5 years...

 

... Matt: One possible way of reducing your risk of developing Osteoporosis is to make some moderate changes to your lifestyle because despite the fact that a hereditary pattern clearly has a large bearing on your likelihood of developing this condition changes such as increasing the amount of calcium in your diet through foods such as dairy foods, dark green vegetables will lessen your chances.

 

Tim wants to know: "How often should your exercise regime be followed?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Matt: The regime that I have created of six exercises should be performed three or four days each week. In addition to this routine, it would be wise to integrate some other cardio vascular exercises when possible. The routine itself was created to allow people who did not have the ability or mobility to jog or perform high impact exercises. However, using exercises such as jogging, playing tennis or any other high impact activity will have a significant and positive effect on your bone density.

 

Ed wants to know: "Matt, how did you come up with these exercises?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Matt: The regime is created for two main goals. One is to increase bone density, which is why I have chosen exercises that have an impact on every major joint and most bones in the body. The other key goal is to remember that just because you have Osteoporosis, you still have other goals which you wish to achieve. Therefore, the routine has a secondary goal of increasing your cardio vascular fitness by using a system that I have created which is called Peripheral Heart Action (PHA), which also has a benefit of helping you to lose weight and lose fat.

 

Adam wants to know: "Are there any physical signs to watch out for at the onset of osteoporosis? Is it possible to catch it early and prevent it from becoming so damaging?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: One of the great problems with this condition is that most sufferers do not know they have it until something serious like a bone fracture occurs. The best ways of prevention include stopping smoking, alcohol reduction and of course Matt's exercises! After that, a routine DEXA Scan will detect the early signs.

 

Jimmy Diamond wants to know: "I've broken a lot of bones in my day - as a result of sport - does this put me more at risk of osteoporosis?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Matt: The simple answer to this question is No it doesn't. Strangely enough the fact that you have had a great deal of testing bone trauma may actually have made your body slightly over compensate and the receptors within your bones may actually been instructed to deposit more calcium and therefore increase the density of your bones.

 

Fiona wants to know: "Hi Matt, I was wondering if there are any age restrictions on these exercises? My mother is 64 and although still fairly active, I worry that she tries to do too much and with fragile bones, doing exercises could be a recipe for a disaster! " 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Matt: The exercise regime is developed for use by anyone of any age. People often become concerned that they perhaps should avoid activity because their bones may have become fragile. It's actually more true to say that the less you use the bones the more you lose. Therefore this routine would be perfect for your mother and is of a moderate intensity.

 

Gerry M wants to know: "I suffered from Chron’s disease as a youngster and recently heard from a Chron's self help group that I may be at risk from Osteoporosis. Is this true and how can I find out? Thank you." 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: Some of the treatment for Chron's Disease, particularly steroids, can promote Osteporosis later on in life and any debilitating illness is associated with immobility - another potential problem. I would suggest you would need to discuss this in detail with your family GP.

 

Tessa Davies wants to know: "Which is the best scan to have for bone density - the one on your arm or the one of your hip?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: The ultrasound examination is a good way of screening for Osteoporosis, and is usually conducted on the heel or ankle. The DEXA is possibly more accurate for diagnosis and is usually done on either the wrist or the hip.

 

Emma wants to know: "I get very achy knee joints - I dislocated my knee in 2000 - am I more susceptible to getting arthritis because of this?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Matt: No you are not. A dislocation of a joint particularly a knee joint can cause a great deal of soft tissue damage but is unlikely to cause damage to the bone tissues. Even if there were damage to the bones it would not place you at high risk of developing Osteoporosis. Breaking bones and breaking bones through Osteoporosis are two entirely separate scenarios. The only concern would be if you caused any bone damage through a relatively minor accident. Dislocating a knee would normally be deemed as a fairly major event for the knee and if you have avoided fracturing bones during this I would assume you are at low risk.

 

Tessa Davies wants to know: "Is Fosamax the best treatment for osteoporosis or are there any other drugs that are better? Are there any new drugs/treatments that I can tell my sisters about?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: Fosamax and the other drugs of the same chemical group are excellent treatments for Osteoporosis. However, there is a new treatment launched called Protelos which has a dual action, increasing new bone formation whilst slowing the old bone loss. It should be available from your GP.

 

Liz wants to know: "Have either of you ever known anyone who suffered from this illness? I think my gran did but she died when I was very young - is it something that can be passed down through generations as my Dad (grans son!) complains of aching joints, particularly in his wrist and I'm concerned that he may be developing osteoporosis." 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Matt: Yes we have both seen people suffering from this condition as it is so common. And yes it is also true to say that it is hereditary. Looking at the scenario of your fathers aching wrists it is equally likely that he has some other condition affecting him. Possibly rheumatoid arthritis, possibly Osteoarthritis or possibly simply strained through some other workload. Any concerns you might have will be better answered by your GP who would then refer you to the right scan.

 

Becks wants to know: "As a younger woman how can you reduce the risks of getting osteoporosis?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: Apart from smoking and alcohol which I mentioned earlier, weight control and exercises are important throughout life. Particularly at risk are those women who have a strong family history or who have been through the menopause before the age of 45.

 

Frank wants to know: "Is the new drug that has been in the news going to be widely available in the NHS?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: Yes, Protelos is licensed on the NHS and is available from your GP.

 

Mr L wants to know: "Are there any support groups in my area - North Norfolk?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: Yes the National Osteoporosis Society is the major UK Charity with many Local branches having their own program of meetings and events. Their helpline is 0845 450 0230 and their website is www.nos.org.uk

 

Marian wants to know: "Can this be diagnosed by a simple X ray?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: Yes, a routine X-ray will often show the thin bone structure characteristic of this condition.

 

Herman wants to know: "Hi, I'm 23 and my grandpa is now in his 80's. He lives abroad and does have family living near him but I worry about his health, especially now he's so far away. I over-heard my parents discussing his health and they mentioned that he has recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis after falling and breaking his wrist. He has always been active and all of my childhood memories involve him playing games with me like climbing trees and playing football etc - I can't stand to think of him so frail. How damaging is osteoporosis and can it really be fatal? Is that the case with all sufferers or is each case treated independently? I don't know much about the illness or treatment but if you could shed some light I'd much appreciate it! Thanks in advance!" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Dr Stillman: Osteoporosis is commonly known as thinning of the bones and occurs when more old bone is lost than when new bone is produced. It is commoner in all of us as we get older and often only becomes apparent when as with your grandfather it is diagnosed after suffering a fracture. The NOS website above contains a lot of very helpful information on this subject. Matt: Your memories of your grandfather being active with you as child show that he has obviously been an active person. It's worth remembering that only 14% of the UK population are considered to be regularly active according to a recent Pan European survey. Therefore your grandfather probably was doing the right things. However, it must be addressed whether he had continued that as he grew older. Fortunately it is never too late to change either your lifestyle in terms of diet or exercise and he can start that now.

 

Frank wants to know: "Does it effect men and women equally?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

One in three women will have an Osteoporotic fracture over the age of fifty whilst only one in twelve men will suffer the same fate.

 

Gus wants to know: "Hi Matt. Who was the most horrible celebrity that you trained?" 

Matt Roberts and 
Dr Paul Stillman said:

 

Matt: The person who everyone should consider to be very difficult and potentially aggressive is Naomi Campbell, however I can honestly say that I have never had any problems with Naomi and she has always been a delight to work with and in fact, I'm more likely to lose my temper with her for being late then she is with me.

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